Bangor, Maine, St. Joseph Healthcare – On Wednesday, August 24, Nirav D. Shah, Director, Maine Center for Disease Control (Maine CDC), and colleagues visited St. Joseph Healthcare. The purpose of the visit was to thank the staff for their hard work during the pandemic. He also gave special thanks to Dr. Aaron Karmes and his team who set up the COVID Treatment Center that served the region and made an impact for so many people. The model is a high standard that has been shared across the state.
In one word, the meeting would be described as energizing. “I am proud of the work we are doing to serve the community and the role we play as a convener to pull together resources from area partners,” said Mary Prybylo, President, St. Joseph Healthcare. “It was such a pleasure to have Director Shah and his colleagues with us. He was engaging and took time to recognize staff that he met during the tour. We are grateful for his time and interest in not just the work that we do, but the people doing the work.”
The tour included stops in the Emergency Department, the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit, and the COVID Treatment Center. Topics of conversation focused on the ongoing COVID treatment, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) nurse program, certifications received for age-friendly care, substance abuse treatment, and the care team experience.
Andrew Donovan, Infection Prevention Coordinator at St. Joseph Healthcare, reflects on the significance of the support from the Maine CDC. “Since before the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Maine in early 2020, Director Shah and his team at the Maine CDC have provided exemplary leadership to our communities and healthcare professionals alike. It was exciting to have Director Shah and his team visit St. Joseph Healthcare. His appreciation and ongoing support to our healthcare heroes who continue to manage complexities surrounding COVID-19 daily goes a long way.”
“St. Joseph Healthcare has been a valued partner throughout the pandemic,” said Director Shah. “My team and I are honored to be able to thank the staff of St. Joseph for their work to keep Maine people safe and healthy.”
This visit is the second time St. Joseph Healthcare has hosted the Maine CDC this year. In February, Dr. Isaac Benowitz, state epidemiologist, and colleagues toured the COVID Treatment Center.